To What Extent Does The Social/ Cultural Context Of “The Pearl” Influence The Life Of Its Main Character, Kino?

1970 words - 8 pages

To What Extent Does the Social/ Cultural Context of "The Pearl" Influence the Life of Its Main Character, Kino?During the early 16th century, from the landing of Hernán Cortés, the Aztec civilization was invaded and conquered by the Spaniards. When Spain invaded Mexico, people started to speak Spanish and were being forced to convert to the Catholic religion. For numerous generations after this occurred, the "Mexican Indians" were oppressed and John Steinbeck shows this oppression in "The Pearl" when portraying different characters such as the doctor, and the trackers. An example of oppression in "The Pearl" could be when the doctor turns Kino away because he is a different race from the doctor. He shows this by saying "I am a doctor not a veterinary. Throughout the novel you see that the Spanish colonizers who govern the Native people seem to destruct the Mexicans innocence and purity.Once Kino's and Juana's only son, Coyotito is stung by a scorpion, they all travel to the doctor to seek for help. Kino asks for the treatment but the doctors reacts with scorn and says "Have I nothing better to do then cure insect bites for little Indians?". This shows that the doctor is looks down on Kino's race and sees the natives as just animals.After Kino and Juana find "the greatest pearl of the world", he believes that the pearl would help his entire family have a much better life. At first, he just wants his son to get well again but then has fantasies of getting married to Juana in a church and having "a rifle".Then, Kino kills three trackers who mistook Coyotito for a coyote and shot him. Eventually, Kino realises that the pearl would bring nothing but evil upon their family. As a result of this, he and Juana have the courage to throw it back into the sea so this would not happen to another person again.During the beginning of the novel, Steinbeck shows that Juana and Kino are content in their life by using imagery. He does this in a way such as 'Kino heard the little splash of morning waves' to make everything sound peaceful and calm. A number of gestures suggest that Kino is satisfied, shown by the fact he "closed his eyes again to listen to his music". This means that he likes to take in his surroundings and is joyous to be there. He also introduces songs; Kino hears a good song -"the Song of the Family". This is clear and soft which means he is contented with his family, suggesting no problems in the bond of the family. Steinbeck also writes "It was a morning like other mornings a yet perfect among mornings". This indicates that all the mornings are perfect, therefore showing that nothing is wrong and they are satisfied. It also resembles that he has a daily routine. There are various examples illustrating this like "he went outside to watch the dawn"; this means he enjoys watching where he lives.Furthermore, European colonisation is shown through the doctor. He asks a rhetorical question if Kino has any money for the service because he...

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